Every element in Sumter Little Theatre's "Little Shop of Horrors" is on track to make it one of SLT's best, the show's director said.
In fact, the theater has added an extra weekend of performances "because we want everyone to have a chance to …
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In fact, the theater has added an extra weekend of performances "because we want everyone to have a chance to see it," Eric Bultman said.
It has been 10 years since SLT first presented "Little Shop," and many people were unable to get tickets because the show was so well-received, Bultman said, explaining the added shows. The musical will be presented Oct. 18 through 21, 25 through 28 and Nov. 2 and 3. An opening reception will be held Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Patriot Hall in conjunction with the Fall for the Arts Student Art Exhibit.
One of the most important elements of "Little Shop" is the mysterious plant, Audrey II, which local artist Heidi Adler made for the 2008 production. Bultman said the plant has had "only minor touch-ups. Michael Duffy did an amazing job restoring it."
David Shoemaker, technical director, who has never acted on the SLT stage, voices the plant and sings its songs, Bultman said.
"He's having a ball, and he does a wonderful job. He also built the set and designed the lighting," Bultman said.
The play begins when Seymour Krelborn, a young employee of Mushnik's Skid Row Florists, finds a plant that appears suddenly during an eclipse. Seymour, played by Todd Warrick, takes the plant to the flower shop and names it Audrey II after his crush, Audrey Mushnick, played by Cierra Stewart.
The plant seems to be dying until it drinks blood from Seymour's accidentally pricked finger. Audrey II soon becomes the "horror" in the little shop.
Bultman said the music in "Little Shop" is also memorable.
"The second song, 'Skid Row,' is the exposition song," he said. "The actors sing about themselves and their aspirations, how they've got to get out of their situations. Their savior is the plant, which brings in a lot of customers. Only it's not a nice plant - it's an evil plant."
To keep Audrey II thriving and growing, Bultman said, "You have to sacrifice your friends and family. You're in its power. You have to keep it alive, or you'll never get out of Skid Row. It's the main attraction."
Warrick said "Little Shop of Horrors" is his favorite musical comedy, and Seymour is the role he's always wanted to play.
"This is my fifth show here," he said. "I've always been a fan of musical theater, and I love the opportunity to sing, dance and perform. This is just a sweet, funny show with great music."
In 2010, Stewart played Chiffon, a member of the Doo-wop trio that served as a kind of Greek chorus for "Little Shop," their songs helping to move the story along. She said she loves her role as Audrey Mushnick because "she's nice and innocent."
Stewart solos on "Somewhere That's Green" and has a duet with Warrick on "Suddenly Seymour," which she described as "our power ballad."
The doo-wop trio for the current production comprises Aaleyah Powell, Jaycie Wisor and Keonna Porter. John Michael Osteen is the florist shop owner and father to Audrey; Alyssa Gibbs and Matt Wilt have multiple roles. Andrew Lawrence will manipulate Audrey II.
Bultman said music director and voice coach Linda Beck has put together an excellent band: "It'll blow your socks off."
Orchestra leader Beck on piano is joined by Sean Hackett, Evan Thompson, Brandon Graves, Dave Auerbach, Darren Polutta and Barry Simpson. Libby Singleton is choreographer.
Stage manager is Colby Rearden; Sylvia Pickell and Norma Holland made the costumes; and Michael Bacon is lighting and sound operator. Set construction and painting was by Shoemaker, Kendall Jones, Jennica Greco, Braden Bunch, Treva Walker, Warrick and Stewart. Pickell, Greco and Jones are in charge of props.
The backstage crew comprises Kendall Jones, Greco, Brittan Jones, Bill Tawfan, Rhiannon Lemon, Bri Gray, Hugh China, Melanie Leone, Traga Schaare and Nancy Reading.
There will be art exhibit by Sarah Jones in the SLT lobby.
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